Skip to main content

Full text of "Verdict On India"

See other formats


,$8                                        VERDICT  OX  INDIA

, jtfalaviya, in spite of these- foibles, is entitled to
our respect. Extreme Hindu as he is, he has fought the battle of
the untouchables, and admitted hundreds of them into the Hindu
fold. That proves that his heart is very much in the right place*
for only a deep love of his fellow-men could make him challenge
the faith of his fathers. He starves himself for that faith, and yet
he takes up the eudgds for tho.se whom the faith has made pariahs.
It would be ungenerous to tfcny that he comes out of this story
pretty well.

We left Dr. Ambedkar, leader of the 60 million Uutouchablesr
proelamiiig that...
'Gandhi Is- the greatest enemy the Untouchables have ever had in
India.*
This will come a> a violent shock to most people. Gandhi haft
ceaselessly proclaimed his detestation, of untouchability. He has
untouchables in his ashram, he has adopted an untouchable
child, and lie has declared, 'I would rather that Hinduism die
tKan untouchability live.9 This often-quoted remark, by the way,
does not really make sense. Untouchability is as integral a part of
the Hindu faith as anti-semitism of the Nazi; begin by destroying
untouchability and you will end bj" destroying all caste. And
caste is the only cement which saves the incredibly complicated
Hindu structure from collapse. None the less, Gandhi was
probably sincere when he spoke.
So what did Ambedkar mean ?
We can best explain it by a parallel. Take Ambedkar's remark,
and for the word "untouchables' substitute the word 'peace.*
Now, imagine that a great champion of peace, like Lord Cecil,
said, c Gandhi is the greatest enemy of peace the world has ever
had.'' What would he meaix, using these words of the most
spectacular pacifist of modern times ? He would mean that
passive resistance—which is Gandhi's form of pacifism—could
only lead to chaos and the eventual triumph of brute force ; that}
to lie down and let people trample on you (which was Gandhi's
recipe for dealing with the Japanese) is a temntaHon tn «»*.